Educate for Life; Not Careers
“The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change”. Heraclitus; The Greek Philosopher quoted this almost 2500 years ago. Not only was it true then, but it is more true now. When Kodak and Xerox failed, it was not just companies that failed. Their collapse represented a change in the way of life and job losses by the millions in terms of direct and indirect employment. Today Social, Technological, Environmental and Economic factors are fast changing the potential employability of a generation yet to join the workforce.
“25 YEARS FROM NOW, CAR SHARING WILL BE THE NORM, AND CAR OWNERSHIP AN ANOMALY.” - Jeremy Rifkin, Author and Economist
There is a major shift in consumption patterns which are affecting businesses. The “Service Industry” is fast gaining prominence. Service Tax constituted only 0.7% of the Indian Governments Tax collections in 1996-1997, while in 2016-2017 the share had gone up to 14.2%. Professional services like design, logistics, food, hospitality, medicine, education are gaining increasing importance. The emergence of OLA and UBER are opening doors to generating income for people who are pursuing other careers as well. This is an interesting phenomenon as today’s working person does not look at a “Job” to earn money but is looking at revenue sources, and thus part time jobs, flexi jobs are very much acceptable. Social Media is fast replacing established media companies as a source of news and information putting the print media at risk and also large media companies.
As per a Nasscom report “The industry is estimated to have required 16,055 engineers to generate every additional $1 billion of export revenue in 2015-16, compared with 31,846 engineers in 2009-10”. This means that the increasing use of automation is making many jobs redundant, like the Database Administrator, Software tester etc. The largest hotel company in the world “AirBnB” does not own a hotel and the largest taxi company “Uber” does not own a single taxi.
We are seeing on-road testing of driverless cars, buses and trains. Pilotless drones are flying the skies. This change is not just driven by technology but demographics as well. Japan is expecting one in three of its population to be over the age of 65 by 2030, creating a major requirement for the care of the elderly, the reason why Japan is on the leading edge of using robots in service roles. What is happening in Japan today will happen to others in due course.
Since 2015 the oil industry in the US has seen an 8.2% decline in employment. Meanwhile, alternative energy sources are providing more and more employment opportunities. It is projected that by 2030; 40% of India’s electricity requirements would be met by renewable energy, solar and wind thereby creating different employability options.
The OECD anticipates that by 2050, more than 40% of the world’s population will live under severe water stress, resulting in floods or drought. This would impact water and agriculture related businesses to the extent that whole new career opportunities would be appearing for those ready for them.
Globalization has caused a major shift in where business is conducted. McKinsey estimates that half of the world’s largest companies will be headquartered in emerging markets, such as Brazil and India. With a shift in businesses will be a further shift in opportunities.
The world is changing so much and so fast that educators need to imbibe the younger generation with skills to face these challenges. You can no longer equip a child to prepare for a career, you need to equip a child to face and manage change. The earlier the new generation realizes that change is a fact of life; the better.